The holidays have passed, and you’re probably already looking forward to warmer weather and a new adventure. Many people wait until summer, but spring is actually a great time to take a cruise.
If you’re a parent, the kids are off school and you may have a tax rebate coming in. If you’re a college student, spring break is the time to party. There are enough options out there that families and “spring breakers” alike can enjoy a spring break cruise, but it’s important to know what to look out for.
Here’s what to consider before you book a spring break cruise:
Best Family Cruises vs. Best College Cruises
If you’re a parent, the last place you probably want your children to be is onboard with a bunch of drunk 21-year-olds. On the flip side, if you just turned 21 and want to get drunk with all of your friends, the last place you want to be is onboard with a bunch of screaming kids.
If you’re planning a wholesome family vacation, spring may be the best time to check going on a Disney Cruise off your bucket list. Say what you will, Disney knows how to keep each member of the family entertained. Parents can enjoy the adults-only section, and they can be confident that their children are having a blast and staying safe onboard.
College students, however, probably want something a bit wilder than just an adults-only pool. Carnival Cruise Line has an array of different cruise ships with nightclubs and exciting bars for students who want to forget about their studies for a few days. Norwegian is another popular cruise line for young adults.
Consider the Alcohol Policy
If you are looking to imbibe onboard, take a look at the alcohol policy. Freshmen and sophomores who are under the legal drinking age won’t be able to let loose just because they’re on international waters. You’ll have to head to a port in Mexico or Europe to enjoy an alcoholic beverage at the age of 18.
(One exception: on Norwegian Cruise Lines, young adults between 18 and 20 can drink, provided that their parents sign a consent form at the start of their cruise. However, unless you want to bring your mom to your spring break party, you might be out of luck on an American cruise.)
Adults over the age of 21 might not have to worry about whether or not they can drink… but they may have a special bottle that they want to bring on board. Most cruise lines will allow passengers to bring a bottle of champagne or wine on board. Hard liquor, however, is prohibited, and extra fees may apply. Check with your cruise line before you start packing.
Know What You’re Buying
All-inclusive cruises can be some of the most relaxing vacations that you can get. Once you book, you don’t have to open your wallet again.
Did you really book an all-inclusive cruise, though? Make sure you read the fine print before you spend the remainder of your vacation budget on other things.
Cruise ships may charge passengers for the following amenities:
- Alcohol and soft drinks
- Onshore excursions
- Transportation to and from the ports
- Specific restaurants
- Spa treatments
Cruise prices tend to leave out tips, which you should definitely include in your overall budget. Before you book, clearly communicate with your group about expenses. We all know that wallets don’t stretch far in college, and extra expenses can be an unwanted surprise onboard. Make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect when they get on the ship.
Even if you aren’t drinking excessively on your spring break cruise vacation, we urge you to be safe. There are always risks of slips, falls, and other catastrophes. Stay with your group, party responsibly, and read the fine print before you board.
Have a great spring break – and a safe cruise!
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.